Victoria Will Still Get a Public Holiday for the AFL Grand Final No Matter Where the Game Is Played
This year, though, both the big game and the public holiday look set for October.
Usually when September rolls around, the AFL finals take over Melbourne. And, to celebrate the pinnacle of the annual footy season, the city scores a public holiday on the Friday before the grand final. But 2020 isn't a normal year, as we all well and truly know by now. Melbourne is currently under stage-four stay-at-home restrictions, its second lockdowns this year. After postponing the AFL season for two months, then restarting in June, the code's year has been thrown into disarray as well. All of Victoria's AFL teams have temporarily relocated interstate, the bulk of the season has been played in Queensland and the grand final is actually expected to take place towards the end of October.
Due to all of the above, hosting the grand final at the MCG is looking increasingly unlikely. Instead of being played in Melbourne, the game may be held in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth or Adelaide. But, as Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed in his daily press conference on Saturday, August 15, that doesn't mean that Victorians won't still get a day off work — with the grand final public holiday still going ahead regardless of where the match takes place.
"I reckon Victorians may well have earned that," said Premier Andrews about the public holiday, stating that it will go ahead. And, it'll still fall on the Friday before the grand final; however just when that'll be still needs to be confirmed by the AFL, with October 17 and October 24 firming as the likely dates for the match.
That means that Melbourne footy fanatics can still spend the day before the big day celebrating the sport they love, although you'd reasonably expect that all of the usual pre-grand final fanfare won't be happening due to social-distancing requirements even if the city was to host the game.
And, if you're not into AFL, you can still look forward to an upcoming long weekend.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Victoria and how to protect yourself, head to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website.
Published on August 16, 2020 by Sarah Ward